SKU (ISBN): 9780802807373
Binding: Trade Paper
Publisher: William B. Eerdmans Publishing Co.
Print On Demand Product
Millions of Americans are joining small groups. Among the religious, prayer fellowships, accountability groups, house churches, Bible-study groups, and covenant groups are being touted as the wave of the future. But are small groups delivering what they promise? Are members really finding the support, encouragement, and deepening spirituality they seek? Or are the answers ambiguous?
I Come Away Stronger, the complement to Robert Wuthnow’s Sharing the Journey, presents fourteen case studies of small groups – from a women’s Bible study, to a peace fellowship, to a group for senior citizens. What small groups are like nationally and how their members understand spirituality can be gauged from the results of a national survey presented in the appendix.
This survey is given life and flesh in the extended portraits of each of the groups. These portraits are powerful and highly personal because they tell the stories, both collective and personal, of each group, revealing agreement and dissension, closeness and alienation, growth and stagnation. The result is an intimate inside look at the dynamics of small groups.
In a concluding chapter, Wuthnow places the small group movement in the changing context of American religion and society, showing why is has emerged and where it is headed, raising crucial questions that religious leaders and group members need to ponder as the movement continues to grow.